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  • Sports variety helps kids avoid repetitive use injuries

    Posted on October 15th, 2014 Alan No comments

    This appeared in the back page of the Food & Life section of the Austin American Statesman, next to Health & Wellness Wed Oct 15, 2015

    Sports variety helps kids avoid repetitive use injuries

    Not long ago, seasonal athletics gave kids the option of participating in several different sports over the course of a school year. One athlete who knew that was the smart way to play it was baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. He was the first athlete in UCLA history to letter in four different sports in one year (track, basketball, football and baseball !).

    These days, that’s nearly impossible. Many coaches claim that the only way for a kid to develop into a starter on a varsity team is to be dedicated to only one sport and make a commitment to year-long training. Ironically, that might just make it impossible for your child to play any varsity sport. Here’s why:

    Young athletes who specialize in one sport run a 40 percent higher risk of a repetitive or overuse injury, such as stress fracture or tendon damage. Growth plates, areas of developing cartilage, as well as bones, ligaments and tendons, all mature at different rates. So while some parts of the arm might be strong enough for pitching regularly, the elbow joint might not be. Repetitive stress can cause it to develop abnormally and permanently interfere with functioning.

    So, if you want your budding athlete to enjoy sports all through school — and as an adult — keep her or him safe from overuse injuries. Limit practice time; change up positions played; make sure your child plays more than one sport every year; take breaks between sports; and make sure fun comes first!


    Also related; Should kids specialize in one sport 

  • Things a father should tell his daughter

    Posted on October 2nd, 2014 Alan No comments

    Cassidy 2 days old

    Click here for full list.

    My favorites:

    2) You can do anything a man can do, including organic chemistry, unclogging toilets and assembling IKEA furniture.

    7) Nothing is more attractive than intelligence.

    10) You don’t have to enjoy them, but have a working knowledge of the rules for football and baseball.

    12) You don’t have to *DO* anything for someone to love you. The right person will cross a desert just for the chance to sit next to you at lunch.

    13) Peer pressure is all about insecurity. Be confident in who you are and you’ll never have to “fit in”. People will come to you.

    17) You were flawless the day you were born. If you must go get that first tattoo, please consider inviting your daddy to come and get his first tattoo with you.

    18) You are perfect the way you roll out of bed. Let’s be clear: all that crap you do to “get out the door” is for everyone else’s benefit.

    20) Compare every single boy you ever meet to your daddy. Nobody will love you like he does.

    Oldie but Goodie  Rules for Dating my Daughter:

  • Ellie

    Posted on May 28th, 2014 Alan No comments

    First days with Ellie.
    Don’t know what is cuter, the puppy or the kids.

  • Career advice from Mike Rowe

    Posted on May 5th, 2014 Alan No comments
    Hey Mike!

    I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

    – Parker Hall

    Here’s Rowe’s genius reply:

    Hi Parker,

    My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

    I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

    “Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

    “How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”

    “Not my type.”

    “Really? How do you know?”

    “I just know.”

    “Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.

    “Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

    “Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”

    “What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

    “How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”

    She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

    Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

    I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

    Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

    These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

    Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.
    Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

    Good luck –

    P.S. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

    P.P.S. Think I should forward this to Claire?

    A dream job isn’t going to bring you happiness, so you shouldn’t “stand in your own way.” Rowe’s sound advice is legendary, and I think it speaks to the fact that welding in North Dakota – or any awesome job – is not what’s truly going to shape the way you feel about the world.

  • College Lacrosse Coaches prefer multi-sport athletes

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 Alan No comments

    Click here for article

    “These guys have a high level of athleticism but probably haven’t peaked yet as lacrosse players. Once they get to college, they will specialize and will develop and blossom. They usually have a steep growth curve, whereas some of the kids who have been single-sport athletes tend to burn out quicker. Oftentimes, they don’t have as much left in the tank.”

    “I really believe multi-sport participation increases the athletic I.Q. of players. Players can work individually on developing skills, but being a member of different teams provides opportunities to develop game instincts that produce more athletic players. There are parallels between certain sports, and we’ll look at a player’s athleticism in another sport and project his potential as a lacrosse player.”

  • David’s 1st High School Lacrosse Goal

    Posted on April 10th, 2013 Alan No comments

  • Homemade Lacrosse Pitch Back

    Posted on February 28th, 2013 Alan No comments

    Homemade Lacrosse Pitch Back

  • Bringing home the hardware

    Posted on December 12th, 2012 Alan No comments

    Kristen’s first basketball tournament trophy.  The 6th grade team went undefeated in the Four Points Winter tournament at Vandergift High School with a draw of 6 teams to win 1st place.

  • How Target knew a High School girl was pregnant before her parents did

    Posted on April 9th, 2012 Alan No comments

    I read an interesting article in the NY Times Magazine.  It was about how companies try to glean shopping patterns from their customers.

    This articles talks about the related privacy issues

    The full article is here

  • We’re (mostly) an Android Family

    Posted on February 13th, 2012 Alan No comments

    Cassidy and I have been out of contract on our T-mobile phones for half a year.  We were waiting for the right time to extend our contract.  Cassidy has also been wanting an iPhone which of course T-mobile does not offer.  Earlier we were waiting to see if we could stay with T-mobile and maybe wait for AT&T to buy T-mobile and make iPhones available.

    This weekend I picked up 3 new phones and extended Cassidy, David and my contract for 2 years.  The time was right because T-mobile was offering all their phones free with a 2-year committment.  T-mobile makes you jump through some hoops, however, asking for the cost of the phones up front and requiring you to send in rebate forms for each phone.  Rebates are such a cheezy business practice! Anybody that uses them I automatically think less of.  As much as Cassidy wanted an iPhone I convinced her to give the HTC Android a try. I’m hoping the speed of 4G and all the cool features of this phone will make her forget the iPhone.  She has an iPod Touch and an iPad!  And Jane has an iPhone.

    We didn’t get the highest end Samsung Galaxy S II or HTC Maze 4G (normally each $230 with 2-yr) because they required the most expensive plans which we didn’t need.  We settled on the HTC Sensation (normally $199) which is a beautiful phone.

    There is something to be said for having the same phones in the family.  We can share discoveries, accessories, and experiences. We each have 2Gig unlimited data plans which means we get up to 2Gig at 4G speeds and don’t get charged for going over, but the speed drops.  It has a 8MP camera and can take 1080p video.  It came with an 8gig SD card and a nice stereo headphone with volume controls.

    So far, we are all very pleased with the phone.

    There wasn’t a specific driver to get my laptop to recognize the phone for Android development; I had to download the HTC sync software.  I got it Here

    Just discovered a killer app that I’ve missed on the iPhone.  Maps street view!  It’s a free plugin on the Android!